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Things You Should Know

Marks the Spot: Things You Should Know

October 20, 2004
  1. What is high-level nuclear waste?
  2. How are we going to ship it?
  3. What happens if there is a wreck?
  4. What are the risks to first responders?
  5. What are the health effects of radiation?
  6. Will Yucca Mountain get rid of nuclear waste in my state?
  7. Is there a nuclear waste storage crisis?
  8. What is the transportation safety plan?
  9. What is the past safety record of nuclear waste shipments?
  10. Is there a terrorist threat?
  11. Will my governor set the routes?
  12. What other groups are involved in nuclear waste transportation issues?


What is high-level nuclear waste?

Every truck or train rumbling through your town on its way to Yucca Mountain will be hauling an extremely radioactive load of spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants, the Navy, and government-run nuclear reactors. The spent fuel from the hot core of commercial nuclear power plants accounts for 95 percent of the radioactivity generated in the United States in the last 50 years from all sources, including nuclear weapons production. About 90 percent of the waste travelling to Nevada will be from these commercial nuclear power plants. [DOE EIS Appendix A, figure A-2]

Splitting uranium-235 atoms in a nuclear reactor creates intensely radioactive elements known as fission products, such as cesium, strontium, and plutonium. When spent nuclear fuel is removed from the reactor core, it is about one million times more radioactive than when it was loaded. A typical rail cask of high-level nuclear waste contains more than 200 times the long-lived radiation (cesium and strontium) than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. If unshielded, the average cask of nuclear waste destined for Nevada delivers a lethal dose of radiation in 2 minutes to a person standing 3 feet away.


How are we going to ship nuclear waste?

Under the current plan, high-level radioactive waste will be shipped to Nevada on trucks, trains, and barges (DOE EIS, Appendix J). How many of each remains uncertain at this time.

If trucks are the primary mode, the current Department of Energy plan calls for 80,000 shipments from nuclear power plants over the 38 year life of the entire plan, plus an additional 25,000 shipments from DOE facilities and Naval reactors.

This translates into about 2,760 shipments of high level nuclear waste per year, more than 27 times the 100 shipments per year that have been transported over the past 40 years (Halstead testimony).

Each truck shipment will be accompanied by a security escort, consisting of as few as two guards, who are not required to travel separately. The trucks will follow a prescribed route typically along major interstate highways. Truck shipments moving through urban areas will also be escorted by State Troopers. The casks will be secured on a flatbed trailer, one cask per load.

If trains are the dominant mode, there will be more than 18,000 shipments over the 38-year life of the project plus 3,000 shipments by barge or truck. Barge shipments are being considered under this option because 17 nuclear power plants have no rail access, yet could connect to rail lines via barges.

The government currently proposes shipping casks full of high level nuclear waste on flatbed rail cars, as a part of regular trains hauling other commercial freight. The American Association of Railroads opposes this plan on safety and security grounds and is calling for dedicated nuclear waste transport trains if nuclear waste is to be shipped by rail. There is also no rail access to the ultimate destination in Nevada, Yucca Mountain, meaning either that a rail line must be built, or that all waste moved by train to Las Vegas will have to be transferred to trucks for hauling to the disposal site.


What if there is a wreck?

In a serious truck or train wreck or terrorist attack, the casks could be breached, releasing high level radiation into the surrounding area. Estimates vary as to the number of people that would die from radiation exposure in a severe accident. The Department of Energy’s worst-case scenario predicts 48 radiation-induced deaths in a terrorist incident and 5 radiation-related deaths in a serious truck accident. Other experts estimate thousands of deaths over time if the release is in an urban area. First responders, local police, fire and hazardous materials response teams could easily be exposed to lethal does of radiation. Billions of dollars and many years could be required to clean up the area. Transportation routes, including major interstates and train lines could be closed for months, or even years.


What are the risks to first responders?

No one has any meaningful experience in dealing with a release of radiation from a train or truck wreck involving high level nuclear waste. There are plans in place for reactor meltdowns, and plans in place for transportation accidents involving low level nuclear waste. But there is no experience or plan for first responders dealing with a major rail or highway accident involving highly radioactive nuclear waste.

In a severe accident with a breach of the cask and leaking radiation, first responders could be exposed to lethal levels of radiation in a very short time. Death could occur as a result of acute radiation poisoning, or a latent cancer, depending on the magnitude and duration of exposure. There is no equipment short of impractical lead shields that can protect first responders from gamma radiation coming off a major nuclear waste train or truck wreck. A person standing three feet away from unshielded nuclear waste will receive a lethal dose of radiation in about two minutes.

Three-quarters of all firefighters in the United States are volunteers. These men and women are being offered voluntary radiation training, but it is extremely unlikely that the nations’ two million first responders will be properly trained and equipped to respond to a serious leak of high level radiation from a transportation wreck or a terrorist attack.

The first responder exercise most often cited in support of nuclear waste transport to Nevada is the Waste Isolation Pilot Program, or WIPP. The WIPP training process may provide some useful lessons, but there are many significant differences between the WIPP project and the proposed shipments to Yucca Mountain.

WIPP first responders are trained to clear the area and wait for state and federal officials to arrive. This will not suffice in the event of a high level nuclear waste accident.

A severe accident involving high level nuclear waste is an intensely life-threatening event. In the case of a severe railroad disaster that did not puncture the cask but did cause seals to leak, first-responders who came within a meter of the cask could be exposed to a lethal dose of radiation within about 7 minutes. Someone standing about 15 feet away could receive the equivalent of 72 chest x-rays every minute. In a little over two hours, that person would have a 50 percent chance of dying of cancer (RWMA worst case accident study).


What are the health effects of radiation?

Radiation is energy that travels in waves and it is typically described in two forms. Non-ionizing radiation can shake or move molecules. Ionizing radiation, the kind that could be released in an accident involving high level nuclear waste, is matter or energy that is given off by the nucleus of an unstable atom in the process of decaying and reaching a stable (ground) state. This energy is released in the form of subatomic particles (alpha and beta) or waves (gamma and x rays). Ionizing radiation can break molecular bonds, causing unpredictable chemical reactions, including genetic mutations.

Each form of radiation has different characteristics, but all forms can be deadly. Alpha particles cannot penetrate the skin, but when inhaled do severe damage to the lungs. Plutonium is an alpha emitter that is extremely hazardous when inhaled. Gamma rays can travel right through a human body, breaking genetic material in the process. Cesium-137 is a gamma emitter that is a major component of nuclear reactor waste.

LINK: The health impacts of radioactive elements

Most elements and their atoms are not radioactive. A few radioactive elements, like uranium, radium, and thorium, occur in nature. Many more have been created by man through nuclear power generation and weapons development. Humans cannot see, feel, taste, smell or hear ionizing radiation.

The health hazards of high level nuclear waste

The health effects of radiation can be grouped into two categories:

1. The direct destructive effects that cause cell death or mutation-induced cancer.

2. Genetic damage that affects reproduction, manifesting as birth defects, stunted growth, microcephaly (small brain) or mental retardation. [1]

Humans are the most sensitive species to radiation of all mammals. Although the initial impact of radiation occurs within 10 to 18 seconds of exposure, overt symptoms can take days to decades to manifest, depending on the dose. Cell death from radiation can produce a range of effects from burns to cataracts, hair loss, thyroid conditions, organ failure and ultimately death. Radiation-induced cancer typically results from genetic mutations caused by radioactive particles tearing through individual cells. A single radiation-induced genetic mutation can lead to full-blown cancer. Cancers most often caused by radiation are leukemia, lung, breast and thyroid cancer.

Cancer – the most likely cause of death from a high level nuclear waste spill

Cancer deaths are the most prevalent outcome of exposure to radiation from high level radioactive waste. Even if there is not a single accidental release of radiation in the entire 38-year span of the transport of nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, the DOE estimates that 15 “lethal” cancers will be caused by exposures (primarily occupational) during the transport of high-level nuclear waste [2]. These deaths will be caused by radiation emissions from the casks themselves, which cannot block all the radiation emitted by the waste and be small and light enough to transport. DOE estimates that one out of every 50 truck drivers working over the life of the project will contract a “lethal cancer” simply from routine close proximity to the casks (DOE EIS, Table 6-1). A full breach of the cask in an urban area could easily result in thousands of cancers in the exposed area [3]

• LINK: DOE downplays the risk from severe accidents and terrorist attacks


When radiation hits a living cell it can break the strands that form the double helix chain within the DNA molecule. This can result in several forms of chromosomal mutations. These genetic mutations in turn disrupt normal cell reproduction and can lead to unregulated cell growth and ultimately malignant cancers.

Leukemia and lung cancer are the most common cancers associated with radiation exposure. The incidence of leukemia in survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb blasts was 3 to 5 times higher than in the general population. Children exposed to radiation between the ages of 7 and 12 are at increased incidence of acute lymphatic leukemia. Adults exposed to radiation are at an increased risk of developing acute and chronic myeloid leukemia. Uranium miners have a significantly increase rate of lung cancer.

Other cancers linked to radiation include cancers of the breast, lymph nodes (lymphoma), brain, skin, bone, thyroid, intestine, pancreas, stomach, esophagus, kidney, bladder, and ovaries.

Acute Cell-Killing Effects/Death

First responders to a significant breach of a cask are at great risk of receiving an acute lethal dose of radiation. Two minutes of exposure to the unshielded radiation coming off a fuel rod assembly of high level nuclear waste headed to Yucca Mountain will kill the average person.

Acute whole-body exposure to high doses of radiation causes death within days or weeks of exposure, depending on the dose. Usually, the higher the dose, the sooner death occurs. Three distinct radiation-induced syndromes lead to death as exposure increases: bone-marrow syndrome, gastrointestinal syndrome, and central nervous system syndrome.

Bone marrow syndrome. Bone marrow syndrome occurs in mammals with acute exposures roughly equivalent to the dose received after two minutes by a person standing three feet away from an unshielded fuel rod assembly of high level nuclear waste. Death occurs weeks after exposure and is the result of the death and depletion of stem cells in bone marrow and other blood-forming organs. In this syndrome, the higher the dose, the quicker death will occur. Deaths reach their peak at 30 days after exposure and continue up to 60 days post-exposure.

Gastrointestinal syndrome. This syndrome is associated with acute whole-body exposure in mammals to doses that could possibly be received by first responders at the scene of a severe accident or attack that produced a hole in the cask. The time of death does not appear to be related to dose. Death is the result of damage to and depletion of stem cells in the gastrointestinal mucosa. Death caused by GI syndrome is faster than that associated with bone marrow syndrome because cells in the gastrointestinal tract have a shorter life span than bone marrow cells. Without medical intervention, individuals will die within 3 to 4 days after exposures that produce this syndrome. [4]

Central nervous system syndrome. Doses needed to cause CNS syndrome are not likely even from a severe nuclear waste transportation accident. Death by radiation-induced CNS syndrome results from a failure of both the central nervous and cardiovascular systems caused by a "superlethal" radiation dose from which there is no possibility of survival. Death results from a buildup of pressure inside the skull, which literally explodes.

Pregnant Women and Their Babies

The high rate of cell division and organ system development makes the fetus and embryo extremely sensitive to radiation exposure. Radiation exposure to a fertilized egg, embryo or fetus can cause death, birth defects, mental retardation, childhood or early life cancers and a host of other developmental problems.

The effects of radiation on the unborn are typically divided into three categories: lethal effects, congenital malformations and growth disturbances.

Lethal effects can occur after implantation of the fertilized ovum, at any time during intrauterine development or at birth. Congenital malformations manifest after birth and are readily induced by radiation exposure during critical periods of organ formation in the womb. Growth disturbances are effects that can result from radiation exposure either before or after birth. They may not be associated with any other deformities.

The most common abnormalities caused by in-utero radiation exposure occur in the brain, skeletal system, and in behavior. Specific deformities can be traced to intrauterine exposure to radiation at particular days of development. Microcephaly (an abnormally small brain) is associated with radiation exposure after the first trimester. Low exposures during the time between fertilization and implantation result in a high incidence of death from rapid radiation-induced cell division. Fetal exposure to radiation is also associated with increases in cancer and other diseases later in life.

Although most of the evidence of fetal toxicity and birth defects is extrapolated from animal studies, humans are known to be more sensitive to radiation than other mammalian species.


Hereditary Effects of Radiation

When radiation affects germ cells, mutations can occur that can be transmitted to future generations. Mutation can occur at the gene level or the chromosome level. Each chromosome consists of two genes, so mutations at the gene level may not appear for several generations. Mutations in chromosomes can result in more profound and immediate changes. This is particularly true with genetic material in which even point mutations can result in severe abnormalities.

Adapted from NIRS Fact Sheet


OTHER SOURCES:
1) Gofman, M.D. Ph.D., John W., Radiation and Human Health, Sierra Club Books, 1982.
2) DOE, Final Environmental Impact Statement, 6-11 and 6-12.
3) Radioactive Waste Management Assoc., Worst Case Credible Nuclear Transportation Accidents, August 2001.
4) Radiologic Technology, January 2000, NEWMAN, JULLIANA


Will Yucca Mountain get rid of nuclear waste in my state?

"Under intense questioning from Nevada's two senators, [Secretary of Energy] Abraham conceded that the Yucca Mountain repository as currently envisioned could handle only a fraction of the waste expected to be generated by commercial power plants and the government in the coming decade." — Associated Press, Friday, May 17, 2002


Moving tens of thousands of shipments of high-level nuclear waste through 45 states over 38 years does not solve the problem of storing nuclear waste at reactor sites across the country. At the end of the process, there will be roughly the same amount of nuclear waste at power plants as there is today.



PDF FILE: Nuclear waste that will remain at nuclear power plants if Yucca Mountain is approved and filled to planned capacity.

A year after Yucca Mountain opens there will be enough waste sitting at reactors across the country to completely fill it. If all the nuclear reactors in the United States shut down the day Yucca Mountain opens, in 2010, their waste would barely fit in the repository.

But nuclear power plants are not going to shut down, and as long as they keep running, they keep generating nuclear waste. Twenty-three are currently licensed to run past 2025. And if power companies pursue the standard 20-year license extensions, over one-third of all nuclear power plants could still be generating waste for shipment after Yucca Mountain has closed.


Is there a nuclear waste storage crisis?

The nuclear industry claims that moving waste to Yucca Mountain will fend off an impending overflow of nuclear waste at the nation’s nuclear reactors. But the fact is that nuclear power plants are not running out of on-site storage capacity for their highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel.

To quote a former commissioner at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

“The important thing now is to recognize that there is no immediate crisis, that there is time to do this and to do a good and responsible job in terms of safety and security and to do it at a much lower cost to ratepayers.” -- Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Commissioner Victor Gilinsky, testimony before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, May 22, 2002.

LINK: Victor Gilinsky, testimony before the U.S. Senate

When nuclear fuel is removed from the reactor core it is normally cooled for at least five years in water-filled pools before it is moved. This cooling process is essential because the spent fuel rods coming out of the reactor core are thermally too hot to handle. Water also shields against the waste’s intense radioactivity.

At most reactors, spent fuel has been stored in pools of water for decades. At about 30 reactors these pools are approaching their capacity. This means that the spent fuel in these pools must be moved and stored in dry casks to make room for more spent fuel coming out of the reactor cores.

Dry cask storage is not controversial or new. The first dry cask storage installation was licensed by the NRC in 1986 at the Surry Nuclear Power Plant in Virginia. According to the Department of Energy, dry cask storage facilities are currently in use at 18 nuclear power plants across the country, and another 15 plants plan to add it. Only one plant, Prairie Island in Minnesota, is limited in its ability to store waste on-site in dry cask storage. That limitation is based on an agreement with the state and not due to any physical limitations at the plant.

Dry cask storage is not permanent in geologic terms, but there is no reason that nuclear waste could not be stored in dry casks for 50 to 100 years while safer storage technologies are developed.

Even if the Yucca Mountain waste dump is approved, nearly every nuclear power plant running today will have hundreds of tons of nuclear waste on-site when the repository is full. On-site storage will be a major means of dealing with nuclear waste whether Yucca Mountain is approved or not.


What is the transportation safety plan?


“What I find most shocking about the Yucca Mountain Project is that DOE has no plan to transport spent nuclear fuel to its proposed repository. Secretary Abraham testified last week that the DOE is ’just beginning to formulate its preliminary thoughts about a transportation plan.’” — Jim Hall, Former Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, testimony before the U.S. Senate, May 23, 2002

People are just beginning to realize that the decision to open the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump is also the most important transportation safety decision this country has ever made. The government has deliberately left the American people in the dark about the transportation implications of opening Yucca Mountain.

There is no transportation plan for the shipment of 100,000 truckloads or 20,000 trainloads of high-level nuclear waste through 45 states for 38 years. According to Joseph Davis, a spokesperson for the Department of Energy, the DOE plans to meet with affected states over the next eight years to discuss routes and shipment plans as well as training for local police forces. [1]

There are 200,000 tractor-trailer crashes on America’s highways each year: 60,000 of them occur on the Interstate highways where nuclear waste would be transported. Numerous incidents and accidents have occurred during past nuclear waste shipments, in spite of the comprehensive planing that accompanied most of them.

There are nearly 2,000 train derailments and 7,300 train accidents each year, including hundreds of crashes with other trains and scores of collisions with cars and trucks. In 2001, the Federal Railroad Administration found 108,000 defects in signal equipment and tracks nationwide.

The transport of low level radioactive waste (hospital gloves, paper, medical equipment, etc.) to the WIPP facility in New Mexico was planned for a decade, yet the first shipment took a wrong turn and was headed for Albuquerque and would have arrived at rush hour were it not turned around. In spite of the highly touted satellite tracking system for the project, the error was spotted and corrected by local law enforcement, not satellite trackers.

SOURCES
1. Environment and Energy Daily, May 23, 2002


What is the past safety record of nuclear waste shipments?

The Department of Energy and the nuclear power industry often cite past nuclear waste shipments as proof that it is perfectly safe to transport tens of thousands of shipments of high level nuclear waste through 45 states for 38 years.

There are many problems with this argument.

1. The mileage and number of shipments that would be sent to Nevada are unprecedented.

From 1979 to 1997, there were 1,334 total shipments of spent nuclear fuel in the United States: an average of 70 shipments per year traveling an average of 684 miles each. If nuclear waste from power plants is shipped to Nevada by truck, (which is the only way that is currently possible), there will be more than 2,700 shipments per year, traveling an average of several thousand miles each. This radical increase in the number of shipments and distances traveled is not comparable to past experience, and dramatically increases the likelihood of an accident.

LINK: Testimony of Robert J. Halstead (PDF format)

2. There have been numerous incidents, accidents and foul-ups with past nuclear waste shipments.

From 1949 until 1996, there were 72 reported incidents involving radioactive waste shipments. In four cases there was accidental radioactive material contamination beyond the transport vehicle, in four more there was accidental radioactive material contamination that was confined to the vehicle. There were 13 incidents or traffic accidents that resulted in no release or contamination, and 49 incidents of accidental surface contamination that required clean up.

There are many other instances that raise concern. For example, on March 24, 1987, in St. Louis, a train carrying two casks of Three Mile Island reactor core debris collided with a car at a railroad crossing. The cask was not damaged, and no material leaked.

LINK: CRS Report for Congress on spent nuclear fuel
LINK: DOE downplays the risk from severe accidents and terrorist attacks

3. DOE “prefers” shipment by train, but there is no experience with rail shipments, and insufficient infrastructure to ship by train.

DOE favors rail shipment of nuclear waste, but 17 reactors have no rail link, and once the waste gets to Las Vegas there is no rail line to the repository at Yucca Mountain. To accommodate the lack of rail lines to reactors, the DOE recommends putting nuclear waste on barges and sending them to the ports in Jersey City, New Haven, Baltimore, and Wilmington, and several other cities, and then transferring them to commercial freight trains. Past experience, which did not involve barges, ports and inner city rail transport, is no measure of whether or not this system is safe.

4. Past shipments do not reflect the risks we face after 9/11

To quote terrorism expert James Ballard testifying before the U.S. Senate in May, 2002:

“Investigations of the infrastructure behind the [September 11] attacks revealed an active interest by al Qaeda and others in the development of nuclear weapons of mass destruction and radiological weapons of mass contamination. The latter category is where the risks lie for shipments of radioactive waste to the Yucca Mountain facility.”

“Terrorists and counter terrorism experts recognize these shipments for what they could become: Potential weapons of mass radiological contamination.”

LINK: Ballard testimony (PDF format)

Our past experiences and safety measures do not adequately address the terrorist threat. Significantly increased safety and planning measures will be required to reduce the terrorist threat to acceptable levels.


Is there a terrorist threat?

Within hours of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. Department of Energy ordered a halt to all transport of nuclear fuel and waste. In the tense weeks that followed, DOE suspended nuclear shipments two more times – once for fear of counterattack after the U.S. began air strikes in Afghanistan, and again for what the DOE described as “in the best interest of the government.”

Federal officials recently issued alerts to rail and transit officials warning of possible terrorist attacks. With America on heightened alert against terrorism, how can it be in the best interest of the country to ship 77,000 tons of high-level nuclear waste on trucks and trains through 45 states over the next 38 years?

Many Americans who live along the highways and rail lines that would carry high-level nuclear waste to Nevada can’t accept the government’s argument that the best way to guard the waste against terrorist attacks is to dramatically increase the number and location of targets. A man in Iowa, referring to the casks used to transport the waste, said: “There are people loose out there who can shoot holes in these things.”

Current cask models are protected by less than five inches of steel, but weapons readily available on the black market can pierce 12 to 30 inches of steel. A study by the State of Nevada estimated that penetration of a waste cask by a portable anti-tank missile launcher could cause 3,000 to 18,000 latent cancer fatalities. Cleanup and recovery costs would exceed $10 billion.


Will my Governor Set the Routes?


Front Page, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 1, 2001

HOLDEN SAYS RADIOACTIVE SHIPMENT WAS BUNGLED
GOVERNOR CHARGES THAT FEDERAL AGENCY BROKE PROMISES ON MOVING WASTE


By Bill Bell Jr. Post-Dispatch Jefferson City Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY, MO--When a shipment of highly radioactive nuclear waste quietly rolled through St. Louis on June 28, the state Highway Patrol said everything went smoothly.

But details now surfacing show the shipment did not go as planned -- or as promised.

Last week, Gov. Bob Holden charged that the Department of Energy broke agreements to avoid rush-hour traffic and major public events. In a letter to Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, Holden wrote that the department also shipped the waste from Germany without setting up safe parking areas. "They did everything they promised they wouldn't do," said Jerry Nachtigal, a spokesman for Holden. Nachtigal said the governor also was worried about what sort of precedent the botched shipment might set. Another load of foreign waste is set to travel from South Carolina to Idaho next year.

After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, "the errors are just that much more alarming given the potential for something to go wrong," he said...


If the Senate gives the go-ahead to Yucca Mountain this summer, then transportation planning will be left up to the Dept. of Energy—the primary proponent of the Yucca Mountain dump—and the Department of Transportation. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will have no authority to modify or reject the project on the basis of transportation concerns, only concerns about the site itself and the engineering of the transport containers.

Once the project is formally licensed and underway, Congress will have no say on the transportation concerns. Not even the Governors of the 45 states through which the waste will pass will have authority to determine the timing or routes of nuclear waste shipments through local communities--that will be up to Washington. The only “power” Governors will have will be to suggest state and local “preferences” about nuclear waste shipment routes and timing, suggestions that have been ignored in the recent past. Mayors and other officials will have no say whatsoever.

Proposed shipment routes through Colorado and Pennsylvania were altered after the states identified elements of the route that did not conform to Department of Transportation regulations.

PDF FILE: Halstead Testimony


What other groups are involved in nuclear waste transportation issues?

Many public interest groups are engaged in the debate over the transportation of high level radioactive waste and the nuclear dump at Yucca Mountain. Here are some of the leaders in that fight.

Citizen Alert
URL: www.citizenalert.org
This smart, scrappy Nevada group is literally at ground zero in the fight to stop the Yucca Mountain nuclear dump. They have a wealth of resources on their accessible, well-designed Web site including national maps of nuclear waste transport routes that are available as posters.

Sierra Club
URL: www.sierraclub.org/nuclearwaste
The Club's extensive Nuclear Waste Task Force Home Page bespeaks a long, inspired commitment to the Yucca Mountain fight.

Public Citizen
URL: www.publiccitizen.org/atomicroad
Joan Claybrook's group has provided some of the most effective, consistent advocacy on Yucca Mountain.

U.S.PIRG
URL: www.uspirg.org
Another smart, long-time opponent of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump and the transportation plan that goes with it.

Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS)
URL: www.nirs.org
NIRS is at the forefront of the debate over nuclear energy and the Yucca Mountain issues. Vast amounts of information about nuclear issues can be found on their site.

Greenpeace
URL: www.greenpeaceusa.org/nuclear/
By entering their zip code, visitors to the web site will gain immediate access to a wealth of data on nuclear facilities in their area, as well as the corporations that own and operate them.

STATE GROUPS

Ohio Citizen Action
URL: www.ohiocitizen.org/campaigns/electric/nucfront.html
Ohio Citizen Action gives citizens of the state a well-informed voice on a wide array of issues, including nuclear power and transportation and the recent near-catastrophe at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant.

The State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects
URL: www.state.nv.us/nucwaste
The State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects is home to a vast trove of research, analysis, and news items assembled by the state in its opposition to becoming the national dumping ground for nuclear waste.

Illinois Student Environmental Network
URL: www.isenonline.org
ISEN works to connect Illinois' college student environmental groups with each other and with environmentalists in all sectors, of all ages, and across all political parties to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and motivation they need to participate effectively in a variety of environmental issues.

If we've missed your organization, please let us know.